World AIDS Day: Healthcare is Pivotal
Today is World AIDS Day. A global day to collectively commit to taking action in the fight against HIV/AIDS and provide support for those living with HIV. It’s also a time to reflect on those lost to the virus and remember them, along with the tireless work that continues today to bring awareness and action to eradicating HIV. The United Nations has themed this year’s observance, My Health, My Right. They explain that the campaign “focuses on the right to health and explores the challenges people around the world face in exercising their rights.”
To be clear, there is still an HIV epidemic in the United States and globally. It is important to put the context of this campaign into what we are seeing in the U.S. today as our elected leaders debate whether or not the wealthiest in this country should receive a tax giveaway on the backs of the most vulnerable, including those with pre-existing health conditions, one of those conditions being HIV/AIDS. We’ve seen continued efforts driven by corporate interests to strip healthcare away from people, ignoring the need for people, especially those with diseases such as HIV/AIDS.
In an article posted on POZ magazine’s website by the AIDS United organization, pointed to the deep cuts to come with proposed tax plans currently in Congress which would affect nearly half of those living with HIV by the deep cuts to Medicaid on other programs to pay for the rich to get richer.
My Health, My Right should remind folks in the United States that actually having adequate healthcare (not just access), is essential to improving the quality of life for people and eradicating diseases that impact our population. We cannot get to this place without everyone having healthcare. Combine this with the disproportionate care and access to prevention and treatment that we see with communities of color, we continue to have a serious problem in this country. Our elected officials must respond to this in a productive way.
Many organizations have goals to end HIV/AIDS transmission. Many community members, advocates, and organizations are working toward this goal. People are educating each other about prevention and treatment. We need everyone in this front to achieve this for every person in the United States and throughout the world. That’s what Worlds AIDS Day is about and it’s time for many of our elected representatives to realize this as well.
For more information on the UN’s My Health, My Right Campaign: www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=58200#.WiFzbrT82Rs
For more information on World AIDS Day: